Tips from the Washingtons

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Mother child portraits in Birmingham Alabama

We visited Washington DC a few weeks ago and I learned several photography tips from the Washingtons. I was there to take part in a mentorship with Natasha Sewell of NPS Photography. While we were there, we toured the amazing city and visited a lot of museums, had amazing food and coffee, and walked 20,000+ steps a day- it was amazing.

While we were there, we visited the National Portrait Gallery. It was by far my favorite museum- and while we were there, I picked up a few photography tips along the way. But the biggest photography tips were from the Washingtons- our #1 guy and gal.

Tips from the Washingtons (Martha and George Washington, of course)

Martha Washington

  • Martha Washington’s portrait stood out to me because it was unfinished. (Mom life, right?) In addition to that, it was marked as the ONLY portrait of Martha Washington.

I think that this isn’t too different from our lives as wives and moms. We are constantly taking photos and documenting life- we have our cameras out for important events and our phones out for all of the in between. But how often are we actually IN the images?

As I think about my life, I only have a handful of images of just my parents and even fewer pictures of my mom. It’s easy to avoid the camera because we think we aren’t enough but THAT’S A LIE. We are fearfully and wonderfully made- just as we are. With the pounds, the wrinkles, and the hard days, we are still His. And what’s more? Our kids want to have something to remember us by.

So y’all? Don’t be Martha Washington. Hand over the phone. Book the family photo session. And give your children something they can hold onto and share with their kids one day. Who you are and what you’ve done for them is an important part of their story and your legacy.

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George Washington

  • Next to Martha was a (unfinished) portrait of George. Martha hired the painter, Gilbert Stuart, to paint it because she loved his other work. Once he finished the painting, he refused to give Martha the work of art. REFUSED. Y’all. She never had possession of this painting, that she commissioned Stuart to create. Not only that, he deemed it his favorite work of George Washington and it was the one they used on the quarter. Wow.

Raise you hand if you have had family photos taken in the past year? Or two years? Have you printed them? In a culture of social media and online presence, it’s easy to overlook the printing stage as long as we have the digital photo. Sometimes we just mark the Christmas card off your fall todo list, but not print a card for yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in life and not print them at all due to the overwhelm of options with the lack of time.

The thing is when you have the digitals with no physical copies of your photos, your phone, computer, and IG/FB account have a claim on your photos. And those three tools are a long way from being a safe place to store your images. Essentially, you are Martha Washington begging Stuart for her painting with no real access to it. Back up your images on a hard drive, then print them and enjoy them! Don’t let Stuart get you down!

Are you ready?

If any of this rings a bell for you, let’s talk! I offer print images with all of my photo packages, so we can mark both George and Martha’s mistakes off your list. Contact me to plan your session!

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